Getting Help

We provide a variety of support resources in CS106A to help you as much as possible with assignment, material, or other questions throughout the quarter.

The main resource for conceptual and debugging help with your assignments will be the LaIR, which is the help center staffed by section leaders. The lecturers and Head TA will hold regular office hours. You can ask questions and receive help asynchronously using the Ed discussion forum.

To help you make the most of these resources, we've compiled a list of the kinds of common issues or questions that may come up throughout the quarter, and the best way to get help for each.

❓I have a conceptual question:

We love conceptual questions about any and all of the course material. Conceptual questions are the height of all course queries. It often takes more work to figure out what concept you are confused about, but if you do that extra work, you will learn much more in return. You can bring conceptual questions to any of our course staff in any of our channels:

Go to the LaIR, come to office hours, email your Section Leader or post on Ed

At the LaIR there is a special sign up for conceptual help called the CLaIR, or "Conceptual LaIR." This is a higher priority queue and you will get a faster response. When getting CLaIR help, section leaders won't look at your code but instead teach you the concepts you need for your homework. Understand concepts before you code! It will make life much more pleasant.

❓I have a bug or question about my code:

We all get stuck when programming. There are times when the best thing to do is to work through the bug yourself – learning by doing is powerful. However, there are also times when an experienced programmer can help get you on the right track. Course staff will help you learn how to narrow down what may be going wrong in your code and how to approach fixing it.

Go to the LaIR or come to office hours

Attempting to debug code asynchronously can be frustrating to both you and us, so we discourage use of Ed for these issues. However, if it not possible for you to come to LaIR or office hours, you may ask for debugging help on Ed. Note that any assignment code posted on Ed must be in a private post.

❓I have an administrative question:

Post on Ed if it's a question of general nature, or email Frankie or Ecy for private matters.

Most administrative matters (arrangements for OAE accommodations, extension requests, and the like) should be directed to the Head TA.

❓I want to chat about life and programming / I need to restrategize:

Anyone on the course staff would appreciate a good conversation about where this crazy world is headed. If you need help to restrategize your learning, advice on research/internships/next steps or just want to talk about life at Stanford.

Come to office hours or email Frankie or Ecy to arrange a private appointment.

We have no expectations for students who come to office hours - it's totally fine to just come with a general sense of confusion or the desire to work and ask us questions whenever you need to.